Monterey Jack Cheese


Monterey Jack Cheese is a semi-soft to hard cured cheese with a firm texture that was originally made in California. It is made from Cow's milk and has mildly sharp flavor, putting it in the category of a Mild Cheddar.

Monterey Jack Cheese is also blended with peppers and spices to make Pepper Jack cheese, or blended with Colby Cheese to make a marbled cheese. It is frequently used in sauces and casseroles, or melted as a topping on toast, pizza and other dishes.


Other names: Jack Cheese, Monterey Cheese, Sonoma Jack, jack
Translations: Monterey Jack siera, Monterey Jack sūrio, Monterey Jack brânză, Monterey Jack sir, Monterey Jack sera, Monterey Jack Kaas, Monterey जैक पनीर, Queijo Monterey Jack, Монтерей Джек сыра, مونتري جاك الجبن, 몬터레이 잭 치즈, Monterey Jack sýr, 蒙特雷杰克奶酪, Queso Monterey Jack, Monterey Jack sir, Monterey Jack syr, גבינה מונטריי ג 'ק, Монтереј Јацк сир, モントレージャックチーズ, Fromage Monterey Jack, Monterey Jack Käse, Formatge Monterey Jack, Монтерей Джек сиру, Монтерей Джак сирене

Physical Description

Jack cheese has a high moisture content, melts easily, and has a bland, buttery flavor.

Colors: Yellow and White

Tasting Notes

Flavors: salty, spicy
Mouthfeel: Sharp, Peppery, Soft
Food complements: Tortillas, Corn, Chicken, Tomalillas, Tomatoes
Wine complements: White wine
Substitutes: Colby cheese, Muenster, Gouda, Havarti, Samsoe, Tybo, Teleme

Selecting and Buying

Choosing: When seeking out Monterey Jack cheese, look for a smooth, evenly colored specimen without signs of cracking or discoloration. The young cheese is somewhat perishable, so it should be used quickly.
Buying: Most of the softer types generally found in American markets are aged for only one month, while another variety of Monterey Jack is aged for up to six months. A special kind of it found in Spain is aged for about one year.

Procuring: An aged version of this cheese, known as Dry jack, can be churned or grated and used much like Parmesan cheese. Dry Jack was originally developed during World War II by Peter Vella as the Italian styled cheeses became increasingly difficult to obtain due to the embargo imposed on Italy during the war.Another version called Pepper jack mixes hot peppers with Monterey Jack for flavor.

Preparation and Use

Pepper jack is often used as an alternative cheese in dishes such as quesadillas, but can be eaten with bread or crackers as a snack

Conserving and Storing

Dry Jack is more shelf stable, when it can be obtained, and the unique cheese is well worth experiencing, should an opportunity present itself.


History: In its earliest form, Monterey Jack was made by the Mexican Franciscan friars of Monterey, California, during the 1800s. A Californian businessman named David Jack first began to mass market the cheese. He produced a mild, white cheese, which came to be known at first as "Jack's Cheese", and eventually "Monterey Jack".



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